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A music and comedy benefit gig marking the 40th anniversary of Amnesty International staged on Sunday June 3rd, 2001 at Wembley Arena. Hosted by Eddie Izzard together with a line-up including Tom Jones, Bill Bailey, the Stereophonics, Badly Drawn Boy, Harry Enfield, Paul Whitehouse, Trigger Happy TV's Dom Joly, Harry Hill, Richard Blackwood, Phill Jupitus, Simon Day, Vic Reeves, Will Smith, Sean Lock, Jeremy Hardy, Jonathan Ross, and the cast of Goodness Gracious Me.

Billed as the successor to The Secret Policeman's Ball, organised by John Cleese to raise funds and awareness for Amnesty and last staged in 1991 with a thirty-year history, the decision to pass the role of host and creative director to Eddie seemed to be the natural choice according to Amnesty's director of fundraising, Andy Hackman. The change in name, however, was Eddie's idea.

'I have changed the title, which people will think is changing something sacrosanct. But I always thought the name The Secret Policeman's Ball was odd. Was it for secret policemen? No, we hate fucking secret policemen. So it always got me hoping that the Secret Policeman would do very badly out of his own gig. "We know where you live" is what gangsters say, so I suppose it's still a bit double-headed, but the idea of ours was to say to dictators or other people who violate the basic human rights: "We do know who and where you are, and we will track you forever..."' - Eddie Izzard
Source: 'Frock Tactics', The Observer May 27th, 2001

The event was broadcast on Channel 4 (UK) on Saturday 16th June, 2001.

note written from julia who taped it for me while i was out celebratin' my sister's 21st:

Here's the video you wanted taping. All Eddie's stuff is from his stand-up videos. Bit disappointing. Yorkshire men sketch is funny though. Julia. x

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